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Nor for cheesy taglines.

"There is no known cure.....for MURDER."
"So frightening you'll never recover."
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A 1982 horror/thriller film. It stars Lee Grant, Michael Ironside, Linda Purl, Lenore Zann and William Shatner.

Deborah Ballin (Grant) is a journalist who has set out to prove that a woman accused of killing her husband is actually a case of self-defense, citing her husband's history of domestic abuse. A television program about this case catches the eye of woman-hating psycho Colt Hawker (Ironside), who decides to make Deborah his next victim.

Colt attacks Deborah inside her home, but she eludes him and survives. Wounded severely by Colt's assault, she is taken to a hospital to recover. Colt is still determined to finish the job and is planning to pay her a visit...


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These tropes never recovered:

  • Axe Before Entering: Colt starts smashing through the door to Deborah's bedroom when she starts screaming for help at the outside.
  • Big Bad: Colt Hawker, the racist misogynist psycho killer who's after Deborah.
  • Broken Bird: Lisa is a tough-talking cynic who takes a while to give evidence of Colt's crimes to the police (possibly due to concern that she'll be arrested for breaking into his apartment). Still, she does go to the police in the end and shows concern for Sheila, the nurse who treated her well. The source of her cynicism is hinted at when Sheila treats her at a battered woman clinic. It's mentioned that Lisa is a repeat visitor and had to be brought to the clinic on a stretcher at least once.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Deborah hears Colt's bell ringing nearby, people assume that she is hearing things due to shock.
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  • Cat Scare: After Deborah gets home from the opening interview, her parrot gives her a scare when she opens a door upstairs.
  • The Croc Is Ticking: Colt wears a small bell around his neck, which rings whenever he moves.
  • Destination Defenestration: A guard hears the commotion caused by Colt killing a yet another patient at the hospital, and goes to investigate. When he arrives at the patient's room, Colt grabs him and throws him throw an office window.
  • Domestic Abuse: Colt's father was one towards his mother. She put an end to it with boiling oil.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Colt is shown caring for his geriatric father, who resides in old folk's home.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After stabbing Sheila on the stomach, Colt encounters her daughter and a babysitter on the staircase. He takes two menacing steps forward with a kitchen knife in his hand... and proceeds to leave the blade on the steps, and goes away.
  • Eye Scream: Colt finally manages to grab Deborah in the hospital, and she answers with throwing medical alcohol on his eyes.
  • Flatline: In the hospital, Colt cuts one patient's oxygen tube, and watches her die. When a nurse gets to the scene, the patient's heart monitor is flatlining.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Nurse Wexler is barely mentioned after her death early on despite being a close friend of Sheila's.
  • Freudian Excuse: Colt's mother attacking his father is what his hatred of women stems from.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Colt Hawker, enough said.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the end, Deborah stabs Colt with his own switchblade, and he slumps against a wall.
  • Idiot Ball: Despite acquiring evidence against Colt, Lisa doesn't show it to the cops right away. She instead shows them to Sheila and waits to show them to Deborah.
  • I Have Your Wife: Colt calls Sheila to let her know that he is in her house and has her children at his mercy.
  • Menacing Stroll: Justified with Colt's limping, as Ironside broke his ankle during the first day of filming.
  • Mirror Scare: As Deborah dries her face on front of a mirror, the camera pulls back to show that Colt is behind her before she sees it.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Colt Hawker, which combines the gun label with the predatory bird.
  • Not Quite Dead: After getting stabbed, Colt lives long enough to grab Deborah's leg once beofre succumbing to his wound and dying for good.
  • Novelization: Yes, but only available used.
  • The Quiet One: Colt doesn't say much.
  • Rape and Revenge: After Colt viciously beats Lisa and unsuccessfully tries to rape her, she and her friends break into his apartment, destroying all of his possessions and writing things like "sicko," "pervert," and "rat fuck" on his walls. They also find evidence that Colt is a Stalker Without A Crush and a Serial Killer, and tell Sheila (who treated Lisa's injures) and the police.
  • Removed from the Picture: Colt has a copy of the wedding picture of his parents, which has the side with his mother torn out.
  • Right Behind Me: Colt infiltrates the hospital in a failed attempt to kill Deborah (who is in the hospital because he tried to kill her earlier). He hears Nurse Sheila Munroe talking on the phone about what happened to Deborah and saying that her attacker is an animal who ought to be locked up in a cage and fed raw meat. This leads to Colt stalking Sheila as well as Deborah.
  • Serial Killer: Colt has been killing women for a while before targeting Deborah.
  • Shirtless Scene: Colt's initial attack on Deborah in her house has him going shirtless.
  • Sinister Switchblade: Colt prefers to use his switchblade for killing.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Sheila says that she missed her high school prom because she was pregnant at the time.
  • Trophy Room: Colt keeps pictures of his past and future victims on the wall of his closet.
  • Two-Faced: Colt's father got boiling oil thrown on his face by his wife when he tried to drunkenly force himself on her, which left half of his face scarred.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Flashback scenes show a giggling young Colt (who grows up to be a misogynistic Serial Killer) mock wrestling on the ground with his father for a bottle of Coke.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Colt kills an elderly woman in Deborah's old room while thinking she's Deborah, most people are convinced that the woman (who is wealthy and has a large family) is the victim of an Inheritance Murder.

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